CENTER— Center’s Tuesday board meeting opened with the swearing-in of new police officers Colton Murphy and Christopher Williams by Center Town Attorney Michael Trujillo. Both officers thanked the board for the opportunity to serve the town.
Center Town Administrator Brian Lujan commented that both officers “hit the ground running” and said he is pleased with the way they have conducted themselves. He added that they are a credit to Interim Chief James McCloskey.
Downtown Colorado – Consaul property
Lujan then delivered a report on the Downtown Colorado meeting he attended recently. He said the meeting focused on the town and developing main street business. Lujan says he sees the eight empty buildings on Worth Street as a positive, not a negative. He also discussed ways to develop the Consaul property with Small Business Development Group advisors at the meeting.
Lujan named a hemp processing facility as a possible consideration for the 90-acre Consaul property, once it is annexed into the town. He told the board that some 25,000 products can be made from hemp. In Europe, Lujan said, compressed hemp is being used to make fiberglass. The plant also would provide jobs for the town.
Lujan emphasized the importance of keeping young people in the Valley by providing job opportunities and said the Downton Colorado Project has granted Center $2,000 to promote youth entrepreneurship. The funding can be used for young people ages 16-30.
Another option for the Consaul property would be a UAV (drone) training facility. Many farmers and businesses are using drones to map out properties these days, he pointed out. Trustee Bill McClure commended Lujan for his dedicated work on the Downtown Colorado Project and the board added their thanks as well.
Later in the meeting, Center resident Rogelio Aguilar told the board there is already a hemp processing plant located at County Road E and Road 50. The facility operates 12 greenhouses and will grow hemp year-round. About 50 percent of the plant’s projected 108 workers are from Center and others have come from across the country to work there, he said.
Aguilar suggested that Center might want to consider subdividing the Consaul property into building lots to help house the workers. Many businesses in town have benefitted from the plant’s operation already, he commented, estimating that the facility’s developers spend about $1,000 a day at Big R alone.
Utility Manager David Mahaffie presented the town utility report observing that the town has improved its safety scores for insurance purposes from 68 to 100 over the past year, with 80 being the median score. Injuries and losses are way down, he said. He encouraged the town to continue its improvement in this area and aim for scores over 100.
Mahaffie also related that divers inspecting the new water tank have discovered that epoxy paint is chipping off into the water supply. The company that installed the water tank will be in Monday to clean the tank, he informed the board. There will be low pressure during the day when the cleaning is done but the pressure should pick up again by evening, Mahaffie said.